I was recently introduced to ESAs (did not know they even existed), and am trying to decide if I want to open an ESA or a 529 account. I was attracted to the ESA initially because it looks like you can select a fund among several funds, where as it appears that the 529 plans offered are a fund and you don't have a choice to select anything but the 529 itself. It also seems like you can use ESA to fund more than post-secondary school education.
So, a few questions:
Is it possible to use an ESA or 529 to fund vocational education? I hate to assume my child will go to college because you never really know. Perhaps he'll want to do art school or become a certified electrician?
Can you use an ESA or 529 to pay for study abroad or even education abroad?
Are there expirations with the ESA or 529? Example, my kid decides to join the military and puts off college until his/her thirties. Do the funds expire and I end up paying a penalty for having to withdraw the money?